The Organic Center today announced a new partnership with the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) to advance organic agriculture through the provision of $600,000 in matching funds for programs supporting training, technical support, and innovative climate research. These funds will support several projects through two distinct initiatives, an Organic Training for Agricultural Professionals prize and a Research Grants Program and Extension Award, over the next three years.
“Research, training, and technical support are the foundations of any strong agricultural system,” says Dr. Jessica Shade, Director of Science Programs for The Organic Center. “Despite continuously increasing demand for organic products, however, funding for organic research and extension continues to lag. This collaboration with FFAR will be a game-changer for organic agriculture, matching support dollar-for-dollar for selected projects that help expand critical research on climate and expand information transfer to farmers.”
Priority areas for research and extension projects were identified through a robust outreach campaign that began in 2019 at an Organic Research Consortium Convening event co-organized by The Organic Center and FFAR. Over the course of the following year, the two organizations engaged a diverse cadre of thought leaders, farmers, researchers, and policymakers in a robust debate around the needs of the industry. Selected priorities strike a balance between sector growth, human capital and equity, and environmental stewardship.
The Organic Training for Agricultural Professionals Prize will award up to $300,000 per year to programs showing the greatest success in training agronomic groups and professionals in organic practices. Funding will be provided for one year, with the potential to extend for a maximum of three years. Pre-applications will open on December 13 and close on January 28, 2022. Programs are required to provide matching funds for this prize.
The 2022 Organic Center-FFAR joint Organic Research Program will award grants of up to $200,000 per applicant for projects ranging between one and three years. Matching funds are not required for this project. Successful projects will focus on organic techniques for improving mitigation and resiliency to climate change, with a priority on systems-based approaches and a commitment to cross-sector partnerships. Pre-applications will open on December 13 and close on January 28, 2022.